Cranberry juice, a tart deep red drink, is commonly found in most grocery stores. This beverage, especially in its purest form, is an amazing addition to your diet. 

Cranberries are regarded as a superfood due to their excellent antioxidant and nutrient content. Usually, they aren’t eaten raw because of their sharp sour, and bitter taste. Instead, they are most commonly consumed as sweetened juice or blended with other fruit juices. Cranberry can also be used in different product forms, including powders, sauces, extracts, dried cranberries, and supplements.

Learn more about cranberry juice benefits today.

What Are Cranberries?

Cranberries are small, round, red berries that come from several species of the genus Vaccinium. They have a distinct sour flavor and can be eaten raw or cooked into sauces, muffins, jams, jellies, and soups, among other things.

Cranberries grow on vines in southern Canada, Chile, and the northern United States in freshwater swamps. The most prevalent variety of cranberry in America is Vaccinium macrocarpon, which is native to North America. However, you can also get other varieties in nature.

Cranberries have been used by American Indians as medicines and food additives since before the arrival of European settlers. Today, they’re widely enjoyed and available in most grocery stores around the world.

Cranberry Juice Benefits

While cranberry juice has long been known to prevent urinary tract infections, recent research suggests that this drink has other health benefits as well. From boosting heart health to preventing cancer, the list of positive effects cranberry juice has on your body continues to grow. Here are just some of the surprising benefits of cranberry juice you should know about.

cranberry fruits on a bush

1. It has a rich nutritional profile

One of the benefits of drinking cranberry juice is the fact that it has rich nutritional content. However, the nutrition of cranberry juice may change depending on whether it’s homemade or commercially prepared. Commercial versions are usually high in added sugar and should hence be avoided.

A cup of unsweetened pure cranberry juice can offer a good amount of vitamins and minerals, including

  • Vitamin C: 26 % of your daily requirement
  • Vitamin E: 20 percent of your daily requirement
  • Vitamin: B6 8 percent of the daily requirement
  • Vitamin K1: 11 percent of the daily requirement
  • Copper: 15 percent of the daily requirement
  • Manganese: 20 percent of the daily requirement

In addition to these nutrients, cranberry juice also offers various antioxidants and other bioactive plant compounds, especially flavonol polyphenols. Most of these compounds are clustered in the skin and are highly lessened in cranberry juice. Nonetheless, cranberry juice still provides some amount of these nutrients. They include:

Quercetin: It’s the major antioxidant in cranberries. Cranberries are actually considered the primary fruit source of quercetin.

Peonidin: In addition to providing cranberry’s red color, peonidin is an antioxidant that fights inflammation, lowers cholesterol, enhances cognitive abilities, and offers antitumor, anticarcinogenic, and antimutagenic capabilities.

A-type Proanthocyanidin: It’s also known as condensed tannins and is thought to fight against urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Myricetin: An important polyphenol in cranberries that has several beneficial impacts on health. It has been shown to fight inflammation, prevent oxidation, and lower the risk of developing cancer.

2. Prevents Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

UTIs are the most prevalent bacterial diseases, particularly in females. The primary cause behind these diseases is the intestinal bacteria Escherichia coli (E. coli) that adheres to the inside of your urinary tract and bladder.

Cranberry juice is a great home remedy for UTIs. That’s because cranberries contain proanthocyanidins, which have been shown to kill off E. coli bacteria in women with UTIs and prevent bacteria from adhering to your bladder walls and multiplying in there.

One cup of cranberry juice contains approximately 50 milligrams of proanthocyanidins. Therefore, cranberries can be a possible precaution against UTIs.

Several investigations on humans have shown that consuming cranberry juice or supplements can lessen the menace of UTIs in both adults and children.

However, all cranberry products may not be efficient against UTIs because proanthocyanidin can be lost during the processing causing no detection in most products.

But juices and other supplements can be an excellent precautionary measure because they contain an adequate quantity of proanthocyanidin.

However, you need to be mindful that cranberries only reduce the risk but may not be used as a treatment. So, if you think you have a UTI, it’s best to seek professional help rather than depending solely on cranberry juice.

Learn more about the use of cranberry juice in preventing UTIs here.

cranberries in a wooden bowl

3. Stomach Cancer

Researchers believe that antioxidants and a type of acid found in cranberries can inhibit the proliferation and growth of stomach cancer cells.
Stomach cancer is a rare but aggressive form of cancer. It affects about 26,000 people each year in America and kills about 11,000 each year. Why is stomach cancer so deadly? One reason is that it can go undetected for many years—people often don’t show symptoms until they’re in Stage 3 or 4. The good news is that cranberry juice may help lower your risk.
A recent study found that drinking cranberry juice daily reduced the risk of developing precancerous lesions by 44 percent.

The study authors believe cranberries are effective because they contain proanthocyanidins, compounds that have been shown to prevent tumors from forming.
Although more research needs to be done to solidify these benefits, it certainly doesn’t hurt to start sipping some cranberry juice.

4. Prevents stomach ulcers

Drinking cranberry juice may help prevent stomach ulcers. A compound found in cranberries, called proanthocyanidins, might inhibit H. pylori (the bacteria responsible for many stomach ulcers) by preventing its adhesion to stomach cells. Further studies are needed to confirm these findings and determine whether or not cranberry juice is as effective as antibiotics in fighting H. pylori infection.

According to a study that involved 189 adults, consuming 500ml of cranberry juice every day can significantly decrease H. pylori infection. Another investigation that involved 295 children showed that cranberry juice intake for three weeks regularly suppressed H. pylori growth by around 17% in infected candidates. 

Read more about this study here.

5. Promotes Heart Health

Cranberries are full of numerous antioxidants that can be beneficial for heart health. These involve proanthocyanidins, quercetin, and anthocyanins. Cranberries are beneficial for numerous heart disease risks in human studies.

These powerful compounds protect our cells from damage and may prevent some cardiovascular diseases. Cranberry juice helps to cleanse and protect blood vessels from oxidizing, which can lead to plaque buildup. This can help reduce the risk for heart disease, stroke, and peripheral artery disease (PAD).

The antioxidants in cranberries also help lower bad cholesterol levels (LDL). Bad cholesterol causes buildup in your arteries and can lead to heart disease.

In one study, participants who drank two cups of cranberry juice daily for two weeks had lower levels of LDL than people who didn’t drink cranberry juice. This can significantly reduce your risk for heart disease, stroke, and other diseases that might be caused by atherosclerosis.

Cranberry juice can also lower homocysteine levels in the blood. High homocysteine increases inflammation within the blood vessels and this may increase the risk for plaque formation which further increases the risk of heart disease.

6. Promotes better sleep

A glass of cranberry juice can help you fall asleep faster and wake up more refreshed. It’s rich in sleep-promoting nutrients, such as vitamin C and B vitamins. The antioxidants it contains also help reduce inflammation in your body, which is thought to interfere with sleep quality. Drink 8 ounces of pure cranberry juice before bed to fall asleep faster and get more restful sleep.

7. Protects against liver disease

When it comes to liver disease, fatty liver is one of, if not THE most common cause. But that’s not all—obesity, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes have also been linked to fatty liver disease. Fortunately, cranberry juice has been proven time and again as a natural way to lower triglycerides, a greater risk of fatty liver.

In fact, researchers at Tufts University found that after drinking just 16 ounces of cranberry juice daily for 6 weeks, participants experienced an average drop in their triglyceride levels by 33 percent! And when you consider how many people are affected by fatty liver disease every year (more than 30 million), it’s clear why you should be looking for more ways to incorporate cranberries into your diets.

8. Promotes eye health

Drinking cranberry juice can promote eye health and may slow down macular degeneration, one of the leading causes of vision loss in older adults.
The antioxidants in cranberries have been shown to help protect against cataracts and other eye-related conditions. While there is no cure for macular degeneration, maintaining healthy eating habits and incorporating foods rich in antioxidant vitamins may delay or prevent them from developing.

9. Prevents type 2 diabetes

Drinking cranberry juice regularly may reduce insulin resistance and improve blood sugar regulation in type II diabetics. Researchers found that mice who were given cranberry juice had a better insulin response—and, as a result, were protected from developing high blood sugar and other symptoms of diabetes.

A similar effect was observed in humans who drank cranberry juice. More clinical trials in humans are needed to see whether increasing cranberry intake can lower blood sugar levels in people with pre-diabetes or diabetes.

10. Decreases tooth decay

While it might seem strange, drinking cranberry juice could lower your risk of tooth decay. The compounds in cranberry juice control toxic acids in your mouth by reducing the amount of the acid and its adherence to the teeth. This helps in decreasing tooth decay, gum diseases, cavities, and even oral cancer.

Studies show that consuming just 32 ounces (1 liter) per week can help decrease your chances of getting cavities by 25 percent. What’s more, when consumed regularly, cranberries are known to reduce bacteria levels in saliva and plaque—which means that you’re less likely to get gum disease or lose teeth due to decay. Additionally, cranberry juice may help fight bad breath and promote oral hygiene.

11. Normalizes blood pressure

Both animals and humans can benefit from cranberry blood pressure–normalizing effects. In one study, drinking cranberry juice twice a day for four weeks lowered systolic blood pressure (the top number) by 6 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) by 4 mm Hg, especially in people with high cholesterol or elevated triglycerides. The researchers attributed these results to polyphenols called proanthocyanidins, which are also found in apples and blueberries.

Another study found that drinking water with cranberry juice extract for two weeks reduced blood pressure in patients with hypertension. They also found that drinking cranberry juice regularly could prevent future spikes in blood pressure. If you’re looking for a natural way to lower your blood pressure, consider adding more cranberries to your diet!

12. Reduces acid reflux

If you experience bloating and abdominal discomfort, your first instinct may be to reach for an antacid. But cranberry juice has a soothing effect on gastric reflux; it’s been known to reduce instances of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in patients who suffer from severe heartburn. Whether that’s because of its high water content or antioxidant properties, it’s clear that cranberries have plenty of benefits to offer.


cranberries juice drink in glasses with ice surrounded by fresh cranberries

Final Thoughts

Cranberry juice has been lauded as an effective preventative measure against urinary tract infections, but it also has some surprising benefits that you might not have considered. In addition to fighting UTIs, cranberry juice can also help lower blood pressure, promote heart health, prevent stomach ulcers, promote oral health, improve sleep, and protect the eyes, among others.

Cranberry juice can also be a good way to get daily vitamin C, antioxidants, and more. Look for cranberry juice that is diluted with other whole fruit juices and without any added sugar.
To prepare your own, dilute 25% of cranberry juice with 75% of water or natural juices like apple juice. This helps water down the sour taste, making your juice more palatable.

More Health Benefits Articles:

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  3. 9 Proven Health Benefits Of Chia Seeds
  4. 11 Impressive Health Benefits Of Pomegranate Juice
  5. 10 Health Benefits Of Mangoes
  6. Health Benefits of Broccoli
  7. Top 10 Health Benefits of Eggplants

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